Its been one of those weeks where I've either been at work, at council meetings or sleeping... The one evening I "had off" meant leaving the office at 8pm!
Last night the first Cycle Advisory Group was held for nearly 6 months. Which meant there were about 6 months of questions and gripes to air. As the only councillor who has continued their membership of this group, and the only councillor who regularly uses his bike for commuting to work and for council, I was asked to chair the group. Which I happily accepted.
Cycling in Birmingham is due an interesting year. Officers are busily working away at putting together an updated cycling strategy. The last one was completed in 1998!
The current arrangements are such that the cycle officers have a capital budget, but little or no revenue funding. In practice this has just about worked up to now as there has been a concentration on putting in capital schemes for the strategic network of routes in the city, which is gradually approaching completion in the north/east of the city.
But the current thinking is that there needs to be more promotion of the benefits of cycling (eg travel times, health & fitness), and whats available for cyclists (eg where bike racks are, where the quieter streets are etc). To do this though, there needs to be a recurrent budget, alongside a capital one.
So interesting times.